Copper River Salmon Potstickers
Copper River Salmon Potstickers
Recipe by Kinsey Brown
Chinese New Year Dinner
Chinese New Year is the traditional celebration of the lunar new year which typically falls in the first week of February. This is a time to celebrate with family and friends and, as is so common among celebrations, food plays a central role. One of the common foods you may find at a Chinese New Year meal are dumplings 饺子 (jiǎo zi). Fillings vary but making them with a fatty fish like Copper River salmon creates a delicious treat that is healthy as well!
Eating Fish for Chinese New Year
Many of the traditional foods eaten during the Chinese New Year are symbolic. Dumplings for example are shaped like ancient Chinese gold pieces called ingot and therefore eating them is symbolic of living a wealthy and prosperous life in the year to come. Fish is also a popular dish because of a particular play on words. The Chinese word for fish 鱼 (yú) has the same pronunciation as 余, which means “surplus”. A common New Year’s greeting is 年年有余 (Nián nián yǒuyú), wishing someone a surplus (or fish) of food and money each year.
This easy recipe for fish dumplings will allow you to enjoy a small part of Chinese culture at home!
- 1 lb Copper River Salmon, skinned and deboned
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 Tbs fish sauce
- 1/2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 Tbs crushed red chili flakes
- 20 gyoza wrappers
Finely chop salmon, or pulse in a food processor, and place in large mixing bowl Add in green onions, ginger, and garlic and mix well. Season with dry spice ingredients and slowly stir in liquid ingredients. Place mix in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill.
Cover baking sheet with wax paper. Place a heaping tablespoon of the salmon mix in center of gyoza wrapper. Using bowl of water to constantly wet fingertips, fold the gyoza wrapper in half and slowly pinch the edges diagonally together. The water will help the wrapper stick. Place completed dumplings on the wax paper, making sure that they do not touch to prevent them from sticking together. When the baking sheet is full, place it in freezer for at least one hour.
When ready to cook dumplings, remove from freezer and heat a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Place the dumplings in the skillet and allow the bottoms to brown slightly. Once the bottoms have turned golden, pour 1/2 cup of water into skillet and cover with a lid to trap the steam.
Reduce heat to medium and allow the dumplings to steam until the gyoza wrappers become slightly translucent (about 9 minutes). Remove from the pan and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
NOTES: You can use a food processor for all the chopped ingredients, but many people prefer the texture of hand chopped filling. Store bought gyoza wrappers can be found in the freezer aisle and will need to be defrosted before use. Dumplings are often made with pork which is fatty. To make this healthier version, use an especially fatty fish like Copper River king or coho.
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